Poetry is a way of living for me both as a writer and as a survivor of child sexual (CSA) and physical abuse. I have been turning to poetry for as long as I can remember as a companion on my journey through my trauma, trying to figure out who exactly it is. In Devil and the Deep Blue: Exploring Identity through Poetry, I take my trauma from my past and dissect it. I have taken old poems and edited them along with the guidance of Dr. Dombrowski and Dr. McNeil as my director and second reader respectively and edited them down into a collection of micro-poems. My goal in making these poems is to both put my own trauma to rest in a way, but to also make something for other trauma survivors who may not know they are not alone. My poems are one perspective on trauma, as I can only write what I have felt, but they are meant to show that there is someone who has felt that pain, as well as trying to make myself a better person through my own writing. Along with the micro poems, there are covers that I designed using childhood photos of my father and I, of which there are only a few remaining photographs, as well as designs I drew alongside those photos. The 3rd cover is an amalgam of childhood photos of my parents as well as photos of our family today, intending to show the change in message in the poems as they progress through the collection; they begin in introspection, move into the exploration of the more piercing pieces of trauma that I had yet to even uncover until now, and then the third group of poems is focused on the calmer pieces of aftermath that I still experience and how I am trying to withstand all of that.
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